The Dr. Oz Show addresses Porn-induced ED

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View Part 1 of Can Porn Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
View Part 2 of Can Porn Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
View Part 3 of Can Porn Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
View Part 4 of Can Porn Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Extra segment: Dr. Andrew Kramer Shares Some Tips on ED

Also see: News Report on Porn-induced ED in Young Men


COMMENTS:

It's clear that all 3 panelists have dealt with porn-induced ED in their clinical practices. The show was about as good as one could expect, except for the comments by sexologist Ian Kerner, who ran an infomercial for porn to close out part 4. How inane is it to ramble on about the virtues of Internet porn at the end of a show about how Internet porn is now causing ED and loss of libido. He stated that 50% of marriages lack spice. Could Internet porn be the cause, rather than the cure, as it was for the couple on the show?

Weaknesses in the segment

Despite its many strengths, there are some weaknesses in the show:

Age-dependent advice - The couple on the show are married, and not in their early twenties. The doctors assure them that the man will recover his sexual performance within a month of no porn/masturbation. This may be so—assuming the man hasn't developed an addiction. However, most guys need more than a month, and guys who started early on Internet porn can need six to nine months to regain their sexual performance. See Young Porn Users Need Longer To Recover Their Mojo

No mention of addiction - The show ignores the possibility of addiction and its more stubborn, longer-lasting brain changes. Indeed, the sexologist on the panel irresponsibly, and without anything to back up his advice, encourages couples to return to porn use once the man has recovered. Unbelievable. Guys heal from a medical condition caused by Internet porn use, and a porn-loving sexologist tells them to return to its use? As a doctor familiar with addiction noted privately,

"As far as trying to control porn use, it's like trying to control cocaine use. Porn is not evolutionarily developed sex; it is, like cocaine, a supranormal stimulus. As such, it doesn't share well or leave easily. It likes to be the only camel in the tent."

Encouragingly, although the doctors on the panel didn't mention addiction, their explanations about "desensitization" accord with the public statement of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. It's certainly possible that not every guy who experiences porn-related ED has slipped into addiction, but he has definitely experienced brain changes that are "on the addiction slippery slope." Desensitization is an addiction-related brain change.

In any case, if someone has become an addict, he will not only need far longer to recover from the addiction-related brain changes, he is also unlikely ever to be able to use porn safely. If his brain changed in response to extreme stimuli once, there's no reason to think he is bullet-proof if he turns to such stimuli again.

Possible confusion - Although the urologist's explanations were excellent for the most part, he didn't specifically warn guys to stop watching porn during their time-out. While viewers may think that's self-evident, we see guys all the time on r/nofap who willing forego masturbation, but continue watching porn—without seeing any improvement in their symptoms. Dr. Kramer also advised men to consider "masturbating with their non-dominant hand" to improve sensitivity. That is dated advice. Today's young porn users tell us that they all learn to masturbate with their non-dominant hand, so they can mouse with their dominant hand. This is perhaps another indication that their top priority (sexual wiring) is the porn, not masturbation/climax.

No "flatline" warning - As stated earlier, the show doesn't address the fact that most younger men need far longer than a month of no porn/masturbation to reboot their brains. This young guy, for example, discusses how he needed nine months to recover fully.  Worse yet, many young guys go through a "flatline" of no libido, no erections and "shriveled" genitals during their recovery from ED. It can last weeks, or months, and many will be in this phase after just a month. Watching the segment, they might well conclude that they are "broken," when they simply need more time to restore their brain's normal pleasure response.

No discussion of teen brains - Teen brains are hyper-reactive to stimulation, and hyper-plastic. That is, they easily wire to new stimuli. Hopefully, a future Dr. Oz segment will focus on the plight of younger porn users and their symptoms. It's likely that many of their unique problems are related to the fact that they start out on super-stimulating highspeed during a critical period of brain development, and use it for years prior to attempting real sex. In early adulthood, as their brains grow less plastic, some find it tough to respond to real partners. See Adolescent Brain Meets Highspeed Internet Porn

Sexual conditioning - Animal models are demonstrating that high-arousal states (produced by drugs that mimic dopamine) can alter an animal's sexual behavior—even to the point of changing his apparent sexual orientation. Today's highspeed porn encourages overconsumption as never before, and overuse appears to keep dopamine surging to the point of dysregulation in some users. Sure enough, some users are reporting escalation to erotica that doesn't match their sexual orientation. Interestingly, Parkinson's patients who have been prescribed drugs that mimic dopamine also report unexpected sexual tastes and fetishes.

Other symptoms ignored - The show, of course, also doesn't address the many other symptoms guys reverse as they restore their brains to normal: depression, social anxiety, lack of attraction to real partners, concentration problems, lack of motivation, escalation to unexpected porn tastes, and so forth. It is important for those affected to know that Internet porn use may be a factor in diverse symptoms.

Bravo, Dr. Oz!

Science marches on, and it's great to know that guys—who didn't need Viagra or implants, and whose problems didn't stem from performance anxiety or other emotional issues—are being diagnosed correctly and recovering their sexual performance and peace of mind.